So I’ve been professionally “very engaged” lately. It’s a good problem to have but it gets complicated when you’ve moved back across the Country to your birth State to be with family. Sometimes you have to choose imbalance in order to achieve balance.
It was during brunch with one of the last Great Ladies of the wine business yesterday that I realized there are intimate moments during conversation, with extended family, that can serve to remind us of who we were, like photographs. More dramatically depicted in a scene from “Blade Runner.”
While orbiting several projects, and a few conversations with Eddie later, is where the shift back from “very engaged” and family/personal started to occur over the past month. Involving signing up for yoga classes, going for walks with friends I love and, yes, spending a little time in the kitchen. It was a recipe in a Men’s Health publication for spicy seafood stew that caught my eye. It took me back to a moment last year at Central Market Lovers Lane, one of the best stores in the Nation, with a Seafood rep who was a trained chef giving me instructions on how to prepare scallops. This was the first time I really enjoyed the dish. It’s all about the butter, heat and brief pan exposure of course.
So here’s my attempt at Shrimp and Scallops Soup. Second reference, in addition to the health book.
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon (1 turn around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 3 jalapeños chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 12 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn
- A heavy Summer handful of garden herbs (Eddie is growing basil, oregano & thyme)
- Lightly coat the sea scallops in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Discard remaining flour.
- Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil (1 turn around the pan) and butter. When butter melts into oil, add scallops. Brown scallops 2 minutes on each side, then remove from pan.
- Add an additional drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the garlic, shallots, and crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce heat a little and sauté garlic and shallots 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and free up any pan drippings. Reduce wine 1 minute, then add stock, herbs, and tomatoes. When liquids come to a bubble, add shrimp and cook 3 minutes (I left the shells on for the flavor). Return scallops to the pan and cook shrimp and scallops 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add red peppers to allow for a little sweetness. Transfer shrimp and scallops to a warm serving dish and top with parsley.
Serving tomorrow night with hot French bread and asparagus. Feeling grateful for both challenging work and a wonderful life, spiced up by it’s occasionally off the charts twists and turns of course.
Like jalapeños or “tears in the rain.”